About the Center

Our Mission

  • Through education and training, the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island seeks to institutionalize and internationalize nonviolenceas a process that promotes the establishment of a global beloved community.
  • Specifically, the Center engages in activities and projects that foster mutual understanding among people, in which nonviolent processes are used to reconcile conflicts and to build peaceful, sustainable, and inclusive communities that promote human rights, and economic and social justice for all.
  • Through the study of nonviolence we learn how to apply approaches that will foster more harmonious relationships at every societal level, from interpersonal interactions to institutional and governmental policy.
  • The Center accomplishes this mission by providing educational programs, program evaluation action research, community outreach, and leadership development at the University of Rhode Island, and by helping to facilitate such programs in Rhode Island, as well as nationally and internationally.
  • Through these efforts we aim to collaborate with and strengthen relationships with other organizations, agencies, and governmental departments engaged in peacebuilding and nonviolence work locally, nationwide, and globally.

Trainings Offered

Several nonviolence training options are offered through the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies. In addition to introducing various nonviolence concepts and practices to the broader population, the primary purpose of our training efforts is to develop nonviolence leaders and to develop educational programs and training centers that are essential in cultivating a nonviolent society. The trainings are also instrumental in promoting strategies to institutionalize nonviolence within various organizations and agencies.

Trainings include: 1-2 hour presentations, half-day and one-day workshops, 2 day introductory training in nonviolence, Level I and Level II Training of Trainers certification, extended professional seminars, and undergraduate and graduate level credit courses.

Founding Director Bernard LaFayette, Jr., Ed.D.

The founding director of the URI Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies was Bernard LaFayette, Jr. Dr. LaFayette has been a Civil Rights Movement activist for nearly fifty years, beginning as a co-founder and leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Nashville Sit-ins, a courageous Freedom Rider, an associate of Dr. King in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, national coordinator of the Poor People’s Campaign. An ordained minister, professor, educator, lecturer, he is recognized as an authority on the strategy on nonviolent social change.

As the founding Director of the Center Dr. LaFayette has led education and training programs in Kingian Nonviolence on state, national and international levels, with successful projects world-wide, in countries such as South Africa, Colombia, Nigeria, the Middle East, and Mexico. In January of 2009, Dr. LaFayette accepted an appointment at Emory University in Atlanta as Distinguished Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the Candler School of Theology, where he works with their Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding program and the Religions and Human Spirit Cross-cutting Initiative. Dr. LaFayette remains affiliated with the URI Center as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar, continuing to provide Summer Institute training and program consultation.

For more information, please visit our Center Website: http://www.uri.edu/nonviolence


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